Emergency food aid is distributed in Burkina Faso

Since the beginning of the year, the Monegasque Red Cross has devoted 300,000 Euros to respond to the food crisis hitting the Sahel. Details concerning the various types of aid given.

23 million persons. This terrifying figure represents the number of persons who are still suffering today from the consequences of catastrophic harvests in the Sahel region (Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Niger, Chad, Mali, are the countries concerned – countries that are amongst the poorest in the world). Since last February, parasite invasions, drought and floods have brought about a very strong rise in the price of foodstuff and food shortages that concern 51% of the local populations.

The conflict raging in northern Mali is making the situation worse : refugees arrive to communities that are already fighting for their survival… In this difficult context, the Monaco Red Cross, which is already present with refugees, has implemented different types of actions in partnership with several National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies for a total budget over 300,000 Euros.

  • Consciousness-raising, training, distribution of grains and tools, communal gardens, veterinary equipment and assistance, nutritional follow-up of children, cereal banks, drillings, are examples of programmes rapidly set up thanks to the financial participation of many Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, out of which Monaco which is among the most generous ones, with a total of 150,000 € released since last February.
  • A unique private donation of 155,000 Euros has enabled to set up a programme for emergency food aid in 62 villages in the districts of Arbinda and Koutougou, in the Soum province in Burkina Faso. Thus, since 10 August, cereals, sugar, oil and salt are given out as a matter of urgency to the most vulnerable households, for a three-month period. The Monegasque Red Cross and its Burkinabe fellow member have also elaborated image boxes to illustrate 80 campaigns to raise awareness to food security. Topics discussed: stock management, food habits, and the importance of a balanced diet, specific needs of pregnant and breast-feeding women, hygiene, water management, problems connected to sanitisation…

At the end of the lean season*, these populations will be finally relieved. If we hope that harvests will be sufficient this year, we notice that weather conditions are less and less auspicious for the stability of production and prices from one year to the next. But with rural exodus, there are less and less food crops. More than ever, family survival depends on market prices”, comments Marielle Riccio, the Monegasque Red Cross delegate who has just returned from a mission of evaluation in the area.

Her local delegation based in Ouagadougou, in Burkina Faso, and her trust partnership with the Burkinabe Red Cross make sure that the operation managed by the Monaco Red Cross is successful. However, although financing of the emergency project is guaranteed, the Monaco Red Cross is seeking funds so that these populations no longer have to face the consequences of this type of crises in the future.

Therefore 150,000 € a year are needed over a period of at least three years.

To send your donations or to take part in this action, you will find the Red Cross on its website: www.croix-rouge.mc and on the Facebook page “International actions of the Monaco Red Cross”.

*The lean season is the period before the first harvest when there can be a shortage of grains from the previous harvest. This is the most critical period of the year during a food crisis.

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